Die vierte Frucht
Vier Früchte blieben uns vom Paradiese
auf unsrer langen Wüstenwanderung,
auf daß durch sie die Kraft des Ursprungs fließe
in tausendfacher Anverwandelung:
Die Liebe lädt in saftigblauer Traube;
die Hoffnung duftet warm wie goldnes Brot;
in bittersüßem Grün neigt sich der Glaube;
die Freude aber lächelt sonnenrot.
Christina Egan © 2018
Für Sr. Caterina von der Freude in Gott
The four fruits of paradise, an idea I was inspired to by the three Christian chief virtues — faith, hope, love — to which I added joy, another gift or virtue promoted by the same stern author, St Paul.
“Rejoice in the Lord always: and again I say, Rejoice”.
Love is envisaged as a blue or purple fruit, hope as a yellow one (or a loaf of bread), faith as a green fruit (possibly tasting bitter) and joy as a red or orange one… hopefully all sweet! The colours of the rainbow exist for our nourishment.
Photograph: Oranges in midwinter, in Morocco. Christina Egan © 2012.
Embroidered with orange lights
are the fanned steel wings of the bridge
suspended in the summer night,
a tranquil dragon bringing luck.
Wide is the night and warm,
like the dark wine of old and ardent love.
The sky reads the low, slow river
as my eye reads yours in a dream.
Sparkling with lights is the city,
sparkling with lights is my soul.
Christina Egan © 2003
Dragons, of course, are noble and bring luck in Chinese mythology.
I must have been thinking of Hammersmith Bridge in London.
You can read more poems about suspension bridges at On the Orange Bridge (San Francisco) and Rosenquarzkammern (Malmö).
bei der kapuzinerkresse
die hohen blättertreppen übersteigt
ein strauß aus scharfen feuerfarbnen blüten
du stehst und schaust und malst dir aus er gleicht
den küssen die das lächeln überbieten
und fragst dich ob in dem verwunschnen garten
umsäumt von fremden roten blumenfächern
wohl wirklich solche gaben dich erwarten
als antwort auf dein grenzenloses lächeln
Christina Egan © 2011
You can actually eat the petals and young leaves of nasturtium: and they taste as fiery as they look! These were the last of cascades of blossom — in December!
Photograph: Christina Egan © 2015.
On the Orange Bridge
The bridge bears tiny trembling lives
across the wild and icy strait,
a miracle of miles.
So moves my life, suspended by
the scarce, but strong and sparkling, stakes
of kisses and of smiles.
If I could pray, my wishes might
arise like incense to the light
and cling to royal robes.
Yet I am weak; all I can give
is work and talk and love and live
on tangy glowing hopes.
Christina Egan © 2008
Golden Gate Bridge. Photograph by Christian Mehlführer.
‘Featured picture’ on Wikimedia Commons.
I wrote these lines just before I went to San Francisco. Coincidentally, I found it so cold there that I could not cross the bridge on foot even in September! Yet, it is gigantic and awe-inspiring, like many things in America, whether natural or man-made.
P.S.: I did get kissed on the bridge…! Thank you!
I nod to the flower
the colour of dark wine
stalks and spikes that tower
above my legs and spine
twin doors an orange spill
the only one in town?
why is my own door still
an ordinary brown?
O sweet day!
All these parallel roads
the orange doors are where?
again the suburb soaks
in sunshine hello there!
they smile and say hello
all else though stays behind
their sturdy frames and so
I keep my orange find
two bright beads
The hawthorn turns orange
the blackberry turns black
mingling at the park’s fringe
behind the cycle track
the sky is blue as if
this were a normal state
as if we could just live
beyond the iron gate
Christina Egan © 2016
In London, you can find many front doors painted in red, blue, or green, but I had never spotted an orange one. I have mentioned a striking yellow door elsewhere. I usually go out without a camera, but I capture impressions with my pen!
There are so many green spaces in London that you can walk through parkland for hours. To find blackberries and hawthorns tucked between a duck pond and a little copse is quite normal in this vast city of over eight million people.
The verse pattern is borrowed from the French poet, Jean-Yves Léopold, who does not have a website. Eight short rhymed lines, almost without punctuation, are followed by a ninth line which is even shorter and does not rhyme at all, so it stands out.
Wort voll blauer Ruhe,
und süßer Verheißung.
Ein weites graues Feld
im Winter… im Sommer aber
ein ganz grüner Horizont.
Augustabend im Norden.
Ein Fest ist uns bereitet,
herrlich wie ein Hochzeitstag.
Schau dich doch um.
Christina Egan © 2016
Some more thoughts on the north of the planet… In winter all is grey, sky and land and water alike; but in summer, the world shines in blue and green and golden. This is before you look at the flowers and fruits, and the places and things whose colours show again, and the people who have come outdoors again. Winter lasts six months in Southern Europe, like in the myth of Persephone, but seven months in Central Europe and perhaps nine in Northern Europe… All the more do we enjoy the glories of summer!
This is one of many poems I wrote for my wedding anniversaries in August; I hope plenty of other people will be able to use it for their engagements, weddings, and anniversaries! The little poem I read at my wedding is simply called I Love You.
Brittle ochre leaves…
No – sinewy butterflies,
waiting through winter!
tiny, tender, untiring,
A swift golden cloud:
a million bright butterflies
following their stars.
Christina Egan © 2016
Monarch butterflies cluster in Santa Cruz, California.
Photograph by Brocken Inaglory via Wikimedia Commons.